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China sanctions another four over Hong Kong

2020-11-30 HKT 19:18
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  • China sanctions another four over Hong Kong
China will impose sanctions on four people with links to US democracy promotion efforts, it said on Monday, over what it called interference in Hong Kong following American strictures on four Chinese individuals.

Relations between Beijing and Washington have deteriorated to their worst in decades during outgoing US President Donald Trump's four-year term, with disputes simmering over issues from trade and technology to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing identified the four as John Knaus, senior director of the National Endowment for Democracy; Manpreet Anand, a regional director of the National Democratic Institute (NDI); Kelvin Sit, the NDI's programme director for Hong Kong; and Crystal Rosario, a specialist at the NDI.

From Monday, they will be banned from entering China, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

"The US behaviour blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and grossly interferes in China's domestic affairs," the spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, told a regular news briefing on Monday.

"It violates basic norms governing international relations, and China firmly rejects and condemns this."

She gave no further details of the four.

The NDI is a US non-profit with more than three decades of support for democratic institutions and practices across the world, according to its website.

In August, Washington imposed sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and mainland officials, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Security Secretary John Lee and Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, over their roles in the introduction of the national security law. In a tit-for-tat response, Beijing then announced sanctions against 11 US citizens, including Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.

Earlier this month, Washington added another four officials to its sanctions list. (Reuters)